The first, and often the hardest, thing to come up with are the topics for your stories. They need to be interesting for the Herald audience and relevant to your community.
The biggest mistake that schools make is to just write about events that are happening within their school. This may be suitable for the school newsletter, but it isn’t of much interest to the greater Herald readership.
The best place to start is to look at what is happening in your community – there is always something going on.
Here are some ideas to help you come up with potential stories:
- Is there a new development proposed/being built/something getting demolished?
- Is there an ongoing problem in your suburb/town – roads, service providers (health, police, teachers), lacking facilities or infrastructure?
- Is there a regular event that happens in your area – general meetings, fairs, expos, sports meets, a historical event?
- Have any studies been done and the results released, maybe be banks, medical research, environmental and religious groups – perhaps it has implications on your area
- Events on community noticeboards – protests, fun groups, health clubs, general lectures
- Is someone in the community achieving something worthwhile – in the fields of sport, culture, art, music, education, their work?
- Have there been any crimes, donations, accidents, unexpected deaths or announcements?
- Is your school involved in a regional, state or national initiative? (for example: the RDA Hunter’s ME Program, the Premier’s Reading Challenge or the national Jump Rope For Heart event)
- Talk to the local newsagent or shopkeeper, or people around town, they often will lead you to a story.
Great story ideas from last year:
- The building of a new bridge to alleviate traffic congestions
- The lack of rural GPs
- Anniversaries of churches, schools and other buildings
- The effects of wild dogs on farming
- Local fairs, markets and fetes
- A budding entrepreneur
- Students representing their school on a national level
- Repair work to Les Darcy’s grave, upgrades to the local police station
- A town that ran out of petrol and another that lost all ATM services
- A new memorial that opened – also surf club, skate park and expressway
- A game developed for those with vision impairment
- The impact of a new bottle shop on a town with health problems, the after-effects of a bush-bashing accident
Try this website for more ways to come up with story ideas. Click here.